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Pop Culture

Dorothy Fields put the "broad" in Broadway

Last Friday marked the 106th anniversary of the birth of Dorothy Fields, the first woman to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the only woman who holds an uncontested spot in the boys' club that is credited with creating the Great American Songbook. Fields was a member of a prolific showbiz family, with a father and two brothers in the business.

Natalie's baby: Who cares if the father's not Jewish?

Last week, the tabloid world went abuzz over news that Natalie Portman had given birth to her first child, a baby boy fathered by Benjamin Millepied. Portman and I have had a tumultuous relationship over the years. Had this news broken back when I was a young lad 13 years of age, I'd have been heart broken. However, due to my current status as a 25 year old cynic, I find myself barely registering this news. I pay no mind to most celebrity gossip, and politely decline to partake in most related discussions.

Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis make the same movie

Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, the Jewish stars of the acclaimed 2010 film Black Swan, have apparently made two different versions of the same movie. As Blind Film Critic so clearly depicts in this trailer mashup of No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits, these films are identical right down to the camera angles.

Jackie Hoffman sits down with Judy Gold at the 92 Street Y

Jackie Hoffman is one of my favorite Jewish comedians.

Does cheerleading matter to Jewish women?

The National Collegiate Athletic Association is considering a proposal to recognize competitive cheerleading as an emerging sport, a step towards legitimacy as a championship sport. Anyone who has seen competitive cheerleading (and the injuries cheerleaders often sustain) can understand why; it’s a physically demanding and dangerous version of gymnastics where people perform flips and handstands not on a balance beam, but on top of a human pyramid.

Live from Youtube, it's Gilda Radner!

Twenty two years ago today, Gilda Radner's life was cut short by ovarian cancer.

Fun with Hasidic photoshop

Earlier this week, the ultra-Orthodox, Hasidic Jewish newspaper Der Tzitung incited outrage by photoshopping Hillary Clinton and Audrey Thomason out of the Situation Room in an iconic photo in the name of tzniut, or modesty. A few days later, it's an internet meme. People are photoshopping women out of important or iconic images, with results that are either hilarious or harrowing as women are literally erased from our public memories.

Rachel Berry's nose job

Glee might be a poorly written, pandering, and completely infuriating show, but it remains to be the only mainstream TV show today with a lead female character who is open about her Jewish identity. The topic of this week's episode, "Born this Way," was about Jewish women and nose jobs. In the episode, stereotypical Jewish girl Rachel Berry, played by Lea Michele, considers getting a nose job.

Spanx may make panty lines invisible, but can't smooth over feminist critique

This delicious article in the Boston Globe had me pumping my feminist fist in the air! In a report on the Combined Jewish Philanthropies Women’s Philanthropy’s annual Pomegranate event held at Congregation Mishkan Tefilah in Chestnut Hill, MA, Beth Teitell reported that there were no "visible panty lines," or "VPLs."

Why Rachel Berry deserves our compassion

Recently in The Forward, Jay Michaelson compared four characters from “Glee” to the “Four Children” from the Passover seder tradition. What I loved about the piece was Michaelson’s point that for young Jews, Jewish identity is one variable in a multi-variable identity that youth will embrace, when and if they find it meaningful. What bothered me about the piece was the language Michaelson used describing Rachel Berry, the analogous “Wise Child,” as an “irritating control freak” and “intolerable.” It was particularly difficult to read this because, well, I used to be Rachel Berry.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Pop Culture." (Viewed on July 24, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/culture>.

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This discussion is sorely needed. Is citing a health-related reason for being on bc a positive thing? http://t.co/Ye0jaOGR3e @LenaDunham
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Today in 1902, first female doctoral graduate of University of Berlin Elsa Neumann died. http://t.co/tbRWEn44Ph #TWIH